AMERICAN GO E JOURNAL: News from the American Go Association

May 10, 2004

In This Edition:

U.S. GO NEWS: Go Featured In Big Game Convention; S&S Releases 200 Tesuji Problems; Go News Editor Wanted
WORLD GO NEWS: Diamond Sharp At Bracknell; Jong Ug Kim Tops Kyu Contest At Cambridge; European Youth Championships; John Power Reports
GAME COMMENTARY: The Honinbo, Lectures on Go and Yang‘s Solutions
PRO FILE: An Impressive Young Couple In Japanese Go
GO REVIEW: Word Freak
ATTACHED FILES: 2004.05.10.HoninboGame1.GoWorld100; 2004.05.10.Yang May Beginner Solution; 2004.05.10.Yang May Intermediate Solution; 2004.05.10.Yang May Advanced Solution; 2004.05.10.YutopianProblem


GO FEATURED IN BIG GAME CONVENTION: Go will be among the games featured at “Origins,” the game industry‘s North American showcase, scheduled for June 24-28 in Columbus, Ohio. The convention is expected to attract over 10,000 participants to “an array of gaming events, tournaments, artists, as well as rare and new things to buy,” reports local go organizer Joe Carl. The AGA is in the process of organizing a tournament and teaching events at the convention, Carl says. “The AGA will have an official booth in the vendors room, seminar rooms and tournament rooms. We will be hosting a beginners tournament as well as a 4-round AGA tournament with cash prizes.” Pre-register online by May 24 and get 50% off admission to the convention;
For more info: Joe Carl; 330-493-1663; (be sure to specify “Origins GO” in your subject line)

S&S RELEASES 200 TESUJI PROBLEMS: Slate & Shell has just published a translation of “200 Tesuji Problems,” another in the Nihon Kiin poketto series of problem books aimed at kyu players. Sample pages can be seen at http://www.slatean

GO NEWS EDITOR WANTED: The E-Journal team has an opening for a Go News Editor. Duties include checking websites for up-to-date go news; candidates must be reliable and have some writing skills. Email a brief letter outlining your skills and explaining why you‘re qualified for the job. DENNIS HARDMAN, who has tremendously expanded the E-Journal‘s coverage of go news from around the world, is taking a well-deserved break from a job that has contributed immeasurably to our knowledge of world go. We join our readers in thanking Dennis for his hard work, thoroughness and commitment, and look forward to working with him again soon.

THIS WEEK‘S HOMEPAGE PHOTO: Check out this great go shot from the terrific Yomiuri Online: http://www.usgo.or g Got a go photo the world should see? Email it to us at


DIAMOND SHARP AT BRACKNELL: Best of the 53 players at the Bracknell tournament in the UK on May 9th was Jon Diamond 5d who beat Piers Shepperson 5d in the last round. Winners of 3 games were William Brooks 1k Cambridge, Matthew Selby 3k Epsom and Nicola Hurden 10k Bracknell. William Brooks also won the 13x13. Jim Clare won the Go Problems competition and Tony Atkins won the caption competition.
- from BGA News

JONG UG KIM TOPS KYU CONTEST AT CAMBRIDGE: 30 kyu players (including a 1 dan ghost) played the Barlow which was part of the Cambridge MSO weekend on May 2nd. Winner was Jong Ug Kim 1k Epsom with 5/5. The ghost, Matthew Woodcraft 1d Cambridge, scored 4/5 as might be expected, only losing to the winner. A large group of nine players who started above the bar (at 6 kyu) won 3/5 to come third. Best junior player was Kay Dackombe 18k Bromley, who won 3 games. Other popular games at the Olympiad weekend were Tantrix and of course Chess, but there were only six shogi players for the British Championship.
- from BGA News

EUROPEAN YOUTH CHAMPIONSHIPS: The European Youth Championships were held in Cologne, Germany, April 30 through May 2nd. Ninety-three under-12 players and 184 under-18 took part and would have been even more if the large Ukrainian party had gotten their visa.
     In the under-12 division, Rafael Samakaev 6k of Russia was the winner with six victories. Second was Thomas Debarre 3k of France with five wins, and Amir Fragman 3k of Israel was third with four of six. The top two will go the World Youth Go Championships in Vancouver, Canada. Complete results for the Under 12 can be found at /tourn/tourn.cgi?f3D04deey12.txt&mode3Dcml .
     The winner was the under-18 division was Ondrej Silt 5d of Czechia on tie-break from Ilia Chikchine 5d of Russia, both with five wins in six games. These two along with Thomas Hubert 3d of France and Floris Barthel 1d of Netherlands will go to the WYGC. Results for the Under 18 are at /tourn/tourn.cgi?f3D04deey18.txt&mode3Dcml For a picture of all the contestants, check out /news/autor/tb/img/eygc_all.jpg .

JOHN POWER REPORTS: Go journalist John Power provides several interesting updates in his column at the Nihon Kiin web site, http://www.nihonki
- Michael Redmond 9p defeated Ishii Kunio 9p in the final preliminary round of the 60th Honinbo tournament on April 29th. Playing Black, Redmond won by resignation.
- Kato Masao has become Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nihon Kiin. “We can only hope that his added duties do not adversely affect his play,” Power says.
- Cho U 9p defeated O Rissei 9p in the 29th Meijin League to get a bit of revenge for his loss of the Judan title to O recently. This victory makes Cho the sole leader in the League at 5-1 and gives him an excellent chance of being the next challenger for the Meijin title.

GU LI TRIUMPHS FOR CHINA: In the 5th Japan-China Agon Cup Competition, Gu Li 7p captured a big dragon to defeat Kato Masao 9p and win a victory for China for the first time in this event. The Chinese have lost all four previous competitions in this event. Gu Li also obtained revenge for his defeat by Kato in the Nonshim cup earlier this year when his dragon was capture by Kato.
- from< br>
CHO U BEATS YODA IN HONINBO: In the first game of the 59th Honinbo title match, Cho U Honinbo beat the challenger Yoda Norimoto 9p by a half point. You can see the game record at http://www.mainich . The next game is scheduled for May 24-25.
- Go New reported this week by Bill Cobb

GAME COMMENTARY: The Honinbo, Lectures on Go and Yang‘s Solutions
        Today‘s game commentary is on the first game of the 58th Honinbo, played a year ago on Cheju Island, Korea. The thorough commentary on this hard-fought game between Kato Masao and Cho U is taken from Go World #100; GW is a quarterly go magazine in English, containing commentary of current pro games and instructional materials. It is available from http://www.kiseido com. The commentary is by Otake Hideo, as reported by Kawakuma Hiroyuki and was originally published in the Japanese language magazine Monthly Go World for July 2003.
Our bonus file this week is a problem from Cho Hun-hyeon‘s Lectures on Go Techniques, published by Yutopian; http://www.yutopia
Also attached this week are the solutions for last week‘s life-and-death problems by Yilun Yang.
        To view the attached sgf file(s), simply save the file(s) to your computer and then open using an .sgf reader such as Many Faces of Go or SmartGo. Readers who need .sgf readers can get them for most platforms at Jan van der Steen‘s sgfeditors.html

PRO FILE: An Impressive Young Couple In Japanese Go
by William Cobb
     A surprising number of pro titles in Japan are held by players in their twenties. One of these young stars is Cho U. Cho came to Japan from his native Taiwan in 1990 at the age of ten97and set a new record for speed in reaching the top level of professional play. In 2001 he was the youngest challenger ever for the Honinbo, and when he was promoted to 9 dan upon winning the Honinbo title in 2003, Cho was the youngest 9 dan in Japanese history. He has won a number of titles, including the Oza, the Shinjin O, and the NHK Cup, and was recently the challenger for the 42nd Judan against O Rissei, who is also from Taiwan (O held on to his title, 3-1). Cho is just now beginning a defense of his Honinbo title against Yoda Norimoto, current Meijin.
     Cho set the record for most wins in a year in 2002 with seventy victories, a record that is not likely to be surpassed now that the Oteai rating tournament has been abolished and pros play fewer games in a year. He also set the record for most wins in a row in the Oteai, surpassing Cho Chikun92s record of 33, set thirty years ago. His streak was ended by the termination of the Oteai.
     Another twenty-something title holder in Japan is Kobayashi Izumi, daughter of the famous Kobayashi Koichi and recent bride of Cho U. A formidable pro herself, Izumi currently holds both the Women92s Honinbo and Women92s Meijin titles and is the winner of several games against male pros in recent tournaments. On April 1st she defeated Kobayashi Satoru 9 dan (another top male pro) in the first round of the preliminary league for the 43rd Judan, and she is scheduled to play Michael Redmond 9 dan next. However, the prospect of a husband-wife match for the next Judan is gone now that Cho lost to O. The first husband-wife title match ever occurred in last year92s contest between Rui Naiwei and Jiang Zhujiu (Jujo) for the Maxim Cup in Korea (Jujo won, but Naiwei won the Maxim this year, defeating Yoo Changhyuk). Cho and Kobayashi are definitely a couple to keep an eye on.
     Sources:, Sensei92s Library,, Go World #s 98, 99, and 100.

GO REVIEW: Word Freak
by Stefan Fatsis
Penguin Books: 366 pp.
Reviewed by Roy Laird
     What does a book about Scrabble have to do with go? More than you might imagine, especially if you‘ve noticed that we American go players are a community, an extended family, even, far ;flung but related to one another in meaningful ways. Scrabble, it turns out, has inspired the birth of another such community, and this NY Times bestseller describes their world in clear detail.
     Scrabble is a copyrighted intellectual property, invented by a unemployed salesman, currently owned by Hasbro, which produces and sell 1.5 million sets per year, while sales of the Official Scrabble Player‘s Dictionary run into six figures. Yet, despite all this commercial activity, the serious competitive scene is comparable in size to the tournament go world. Hasbro doesn‘t care about tournaments -- most customers are casual players -- and they fiercely protect their copyright, so serious players are trapped. They can‘t even raise money or accept other sponsorship for tournaments. I felt bad for them. We‘re also small, and struggling, but at least we‘re free to do what we can to grow.
     The author, a Wall Street Journal sports reporter, sets out, with Plimptonian irony, to play full-time and see how far he can get. In the end he reaches a peak rating over 1700 -- the equivalent of going from 10-kyu to 5-dan in eighteen months. Along the way he meets endearing misfits, maladroit monomaniacs, stunningly brilliant players and hundreds of other fans, some quite “normal”. I especially enjoyed a conversation with the top three female players, talking about how their view of the game, and each other, is so different. We also learn the eventful history of the games industry, secrets of the great players, and advanced playing techniques like tile counting, rack management and how to “close down” the board.
     The Scrabble world comes across as more varied and less angry than the chess world. Perhaps the element of chance (even top players lose 10% or more of their games) makes for a more fatalistic, less personalized view of loss. The players seem smart and interesting, enjoying each other as worthy intellectual jousting partners. Someone looking for a challenging realm of intellectual combat might find this account appealing. I‘m glad I read “Word Freak”, because it defines our world by comparison. Now we need a comparable work to tell the world about our little meritocracy. “Stone Freak”, anyone?


WANTED: A club or individual near Sonora, California that would be willing to introduce go to a friend of mine. Send contact information to Rob Muldowney at (5/10)

WANTED: Go players in the Ft. Myers area; I‘m interested in starting a club, contact (5/10)

WANTED: Copies of Go Monthly Review. 1960 1-12; 1961 1-4; 1965 1; 1968 1, 4, 5, 8, 12; 1969 1; 1971 1. Willing to pay a reasonable price. Contact T Mark Hall at or at the US Congress at Rochester. (4/19)

WANTED: Go players in Augusta, GA. Looking for go players of any strength; if I can find enough, I would gladly start a chapter. Wesley Stewart, (4/28)

6D TEACHES ONLINE: Cornel Burzo, 6d, online go tutoring on the IGS. More info at http://www.golesso (4/26)

Got go stuff to sell, swap or want to buy? Do it here and reach nearly 7,000 Go players worldwide every week at Go Classified! Listing are free and run 4 weeks; send to us at


May 15: Arlington, VA
May Madness
Allan Abramson 703-684-7676

May 15: Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Go Club Tornament
David Hast 616-791-8929

May 22 & 23: Houston, TX
Houston Spring Go Tournament
Michael Rouen 281-481-4196

May 29: Piscataway, NJ
2nd Annual Feng Yun Youth Tournament
(Open to players under 18)
Feng Yun 973-618-1821

May 29: Davis, CA
Davis/Sacramento Quarterly Tournament
Fred Hopkins 916-548-8068
http://www.dcn.dav is.caus/~jdnewmil/go/

May 29 & 30: Baltimore, MD
31st Maryland Open
Keith Arnold 410-788-3520

June 3 ;6: Round Top, NY
Guo Juan Workshop at The Woodlands
Jean ;Claude Chetrit 718-638-2266
http://brooklyngoc ;bin/disp_topic.iphtml?topic_id3D188

June 5: Chicago, IL
“Summer” Tourney
Bob Barber 773-467-0423

June 6: Seattle, WA
Monthly Ratings Tournament
Jon Boley 206-545-1424

June 24 ;27: Hackensack, NJ
2004 New Jersey Yang 7p Go Workshop
John Stephenson 201-612-0852

June, July, August: KGS or Yahoo
2004 3rd RSC Team Youth Go Cup
Christopher Vu seaottergoclub/RSC.html

This is a digest of events for the next month only; for a complete
listing see the Tournament Calendar on the AGA website:
http://www.usgo.or g/usa/tournaments.asp

For the European Go Calendar see

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